California produces 90% of American wine, and regions like Napa Valley, Sonoma and Santa Barbara County are popular for travelers. A number of up-and-coming California wine regions are producing stellar grapes–and wines worth seeking out, according to a recent USA Today article.
For instance, Lake County, carved out of Napa County in 1861, produces big wines such as cabernet sauvignon, syrah and petite sirah as well as sauvignon blancs. Yolo County, located just north and east of Napa County, is a great growing spot for the Spanish varietal tempranillo.
Amador County is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, about 35 miles east of Sacramento and boasts more than 40 wineries specializing in zinfandel, as well as syrah, barbera and sangiovese. And the Sonoma Coast, north of the Russian River is the place to discover serious, balanced pinot noirs and chardonnays.
Then there’s Coombsville, a three-year-old AVA literally in Napa’s backyard that’s known for its cabernet. But the region also produces worthy chardonnays, syrahs and merlots.